Though a mere spectator on the sidelines of the sin-binning if not total banning of the great rugby international Israel Folau by a pack self-appointed referees of political correctness for what they piously perceive to be a foul post on social media, I must say I think they’ve made the wrong call.
For many reasons, the first of which is that as a sportsman he should be judged by his performances on the pitch, not for his private opinions, however publicly, unpleasantly, or, if you prefer, Foolaushly he expresses them, as long as he stops short of encouraging the commission of a crime.
Though admittedly as a repeat offender and having been warned before of potentially dire consequences if he transgresses again as well, and almost certainly having a clause to that effect in his latest contract with Rugby Australia, he must have anticipated that this latest outburst would almost certainly get him sacked.
Or, in other words thrown out of the game they allegedly play in heaven for threatening others with hell in a post reading: WARNING Drunks Homosexuals Adulterers Liars Fornicators Thieves Atheists Idolaters HELL AWAITS YOU REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES.
Though just about everybody I know falls into at least one of these categories of sinfulness, and I’ve personally been guilty at one time or another of inclusion in three or four of the eight, the one that seems to have particularly offended most of Folau’s critics was item two.
Not that they were offended on their own accounts, apparently, but on behalf of all the young rugby fans to whom Fulau is, or at least was, a role model, and thus liable to be disturbed if not utterly devastated by their idol’s condemnation of their emerging and thus possibly uncertain sex/gender identities.
But to me it was equally if not more likely a valuable lesson for kids and adolescents, both sexually addled and otherwise, that their idols are as capable of confusion of all kinds as their idolizers or, heaven help us, their idolaters may be.
And that Folau is far more confused than most, having once again crossed the line from conventionally charitable, compassionate, forgive-thine-enemy Christianity to some less merciful mutation of the creed that might justly be termed Christinanity if not outright Christinsanity.
A thought that brings me to my second and most crucial reason for advocating forgiveness of him for allegedly bringing rugby football into disrepute, which is that he’s done us the service of bringing his own and by extension every other religion into even further disrepute.
Not that the disrepute, indeed disgrace into which all religious so-called ‘faiths’ have dragged themselves into over the centuries by means of a catalogue of atrocities against each other, ranging from ‘holy’ wars, crusades, jihads, persecutions and acts of terrorism to simple errorism, as in the perversion of peoples’ minds with their fairytale ‘beliefs’, have apparently thus far lost them anything like enough of their fanciful, fanatical and/or feeble-minded supporters.
But every convert from religious mania to sweet reason is a step in the right direction. And thus I’m all for letting the likes of Israel ‘Izzy’ Folau continue dizzily denouncing us drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters in the hope that, like the scandalous clerical sexual abuse of children has been so instrumental in doing, his grossly unsportsmanlike demonisation of us will not only further harden our rational rejection of religion, but also turn us into even more determined detesters of ‘religious’ ignorance, inanity, insanity, bigotry, stupidity, sanctimony, hypocrisy and hatred than ever.
Or, to express this in terms that those who, against all the odds and evidence or lack thereof, are hell-bent on remaining members of some religion or another, we should forgive Folau his trespasses against us and the game or rugby union even if he fails or refuses to forgive those of us he condemns to a hellish fate for trespassing against him and his so-called ‘faith’.